BRHS top seniors

Siri Hedreen / The Outlook

(From left to right) Dr. Keith Lankford honors valedictorian Jaion Kelley, salutatorian Valerie Tauro and top 10 seniors Cassiopeia Childress, Landon Daniel, Robert Gilliland, Peyton Haas, Matthew Kelley, Jordan Lawson, Dashandria McKinney and Skyler Oliver.

It may have been postponed by the severe storm earlier this month, but Alexander City Schools did not forget to honors its valedictorian, salutatorian and top seniors at the board of education meeting Monday.

Superintendent Dr. Keith Lankford called the 10 soon-to-be graduates to the front of the room for a photo op.

"The foundation was laid here, and your pathway now lies in front of you," he said. "Whether it be college, career, military of whatever it may be, we are extremely proud of you and you have represented Alexander City Schools and Benjamin Russell High School very well."

He also told students they'll always have a job waiting for them at Alex City Schools.

"Again, if any of you want to change to teachers, I think we can put a board action in at any time," Lankford said. "So that's always open to y'all.

"I want to congratulate you guys, recognize you guys and tell you how proud we are of each individual here. And your home is always here — so you can go out, expand, explore, but understand you're always welcome back."

Benjamin Russell High School's top seniors shared their plans post-graduation:


Jaion Kelly: "In the fall I will be attending Yale University on a full scholarship as a molecular, cellular and developmental biology major on the pre-med track."


Valerie Tauro: "I will be attending Fordham University as a music major."

Top Seniors

Cassiopeia Childress: "I'll be attending the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa as a social work major."

Landon Daniel: "I'll be attending Liberty University and I'm currently undecided."

Robert Gilliland: "I'll be attending Mississippi State University and I'm undecided."

Peyton Haas: "I'll be attending the University of South Alabama to major in chemical engineering."

Matthew Kelley: "I'll be attending CACC, then transferring to South Alabama to become a civil engineer."

Jordan Lawson: "I'll be attending Tuskegee University and I'll be majoring in psychology."

Dashandria McKinney: "I'll be attending University of Montevallo, majoring in photography and minoring in business."

Skyler Oliver: "I'll be attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham to pioneer the bioinformatics program, pursuing medicine and genetics."